Marvel has finally made a show that's good enough to stand on its own. If Daredevil was simply a standalone series set apart from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it would still be one of the best comic-book shows in recent memory. Perhaps, someday, of all time.
But [Daredevil](movie:47230) does, in fact, take place within the same world as the one inhabited by Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor, and S.H.I.E.L.D., as seen in the movies, of course. And that only enhances what is otherwise a superb show.
Not everyone will agree, and the reason is simple. Daredevil is a mature show. And not just in the sense you may be thinking. It's gruesome, bloody, and brutal, but it's also calm, frantic, and deliberate. This isn't your typical Marvel creation. Like last summer's [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073), Marvel has deviated its creative formula to adapt to something different.
So if you're a fan of Marvel simply because your attention span is dependent on glorious special effects and nonstop action, then Daredevil will be an acquired taste. It takes its time, builds its world, and only uses action scenes when the plot calls for it. Not as a means to an end.
But when Daredevil does use action to move its plot along, it does it bloody well (literally).
The camerawork for several scenes in particular are some of the best you'll see in any primetime drama, with several fights permeating themselves in my memory quite easily. After watching all 13 episodes in just a few days, I can recall the best moments without thinking too hard.
My personal favorite, though not even the most technically impressive, fight is a long-awaited brawl that occurs in the last five minutes of the second episode. The stunts, score, and choreography are nearly perfect, with only a few moments of edits being apparent if your eye is well-trained.
But Daredevil would be nothing without its characters. The set-up is easy to follow, even if you're not very familiar with the comics (I had never read the comics myself).
Charlie Cox stars as Matthew Murdock, a blind lawyer whose enhanced senses allow him to "see" the world as if it's on fire. When the "law" isn't enough, he dons a black mask and takes to the streets in order to help people.
I won't go any further because the series takes its time introducing you to Matt's origin story. There's no drawn out prologue or heavy narration. Daredevil jumps into the main narrative and teases as you go, organically teaching you the rules of its interconnected world through showing instead of telling.
In other words, there's no filler.
Many fans of Arrow on the CW will notice similarities between Daredevil and the aforementioned. True, both shows use flashbacks to explain more about the hero's origins, but while [Arrow](series:720988) does this in every episode for 22 episodes, Daredevil only does it occasionally in 13. I prefer Daredevil in this regard.
It's hard to continue the comparison between these shows. Daredevil trades the typical "villain of the week" formula employed by Arrow and the also-excellent Flash for serialized drama.
As a result, you really feel like the story of Daredevil evolves with each episode, which suits it being available to binge-watch at your discretion. It's also a far more mature show, as I mentioned, compared to anything on the CW.
Each episode of Daredevil is very different, you'll notice. This makes it very easy for you to keep watching, since you never really know what the next episode will be like, not just about.
In most cases, this works well, but at times, Daredevil suffers from an identity crisis.
Specifically, you'll go episodes without characters ever interacting with each other, which makes the whole flow of the season confusing. You sometimes have no idea how much time has passed between episodes, or you know it's just been a day. Sometimes, a few hours.
My only other gripe against Daredevil is how it handles its final episode. It seems great on paper, but the execution felt somewhat unearned, I felt. Even unpredictable. That's only a problem, though, when you have 12 other episodes that are pretty unpredictable in comparison.
Die-hard Marvel fans should feel right at home with Daredevil, if only for the ample easter eggs and references to other MCU films you can spot on multiple rewatchings.
But I also think DC fans and general audiences will find a lot to love in Daredevil, especially with its supporting cast (finally, a supporting actress who has plenty to do outside of what revolves around the leading man).
Daredevil officially dethrones The Flash as my favorite comic-book television show right now, so it should go without saying that this is Marvel's best show yet (sorry, Agent Carter!). I can't wait to see how Marvel handles Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist as those shows come out in the next few years.
Oh, and the best part? No commercials.
- Some fans were probably expecting some more direct tie-ins with other Marvel characters. I honestly think Daredevil is far better off staying out of the affairs of the Avengers, at least for now.
- I purposefully left out any images of the final suit. If you can wait, I recommend you do.
- Some people might not like this iteration of Wilson Fisk (AKA, Kingpin). He's somewhat inconsistent, and the show likes to make you gain a semblance of sympathy for him, just to crash it by the end of that episode. I'm glad with how his arc unfolded, and I found his weird personality to be a wildcard that kept his role interesting.
- Yes, it's better than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- There's more profanity in Daredevil than in any other MCU show or movie. That shouldn't be surprising. There were times, though, when it felt weird to not here f-bombs going off left and right (there are none).
- Season 2 will likely clean up a lot of the nitpicks I had with this show, including the strange ability for Nelson and Murdock's firm to be financially solvent with zero clients.
- Civil War just got a whole lot more interesting.
- If a Punisher series doesn't get greenlit after this, we riot.